Digital Scrapbooks in Only 1 Hour

In my last post, I talked about converting my family’s photos from paper to digital. The next logical step, then, is to discuss digital scrapbooks. I, like many people my age, used to take paper photos and stick them between plastic pages, embellishing them with stickers and Sharpie. By 2009, I realized that there was an easier, less messy way to scrapbook: digitally, and with Shutterfly. (Nope, not a sponsor.) In my quest for cheap wedding announcements that I could make myself, I discovered that I could streamline my scrapbooking process and leave those bulky binders behind.

Why Shutterfly?

As I searched for a way to create wedding announcements, what mattered most was being able to customize things. I compared several digital photo sites such as Walmart Photo and Snapfish. Shutterfly was my favorite, hands down, so I’ve stuck with it since 2009. Some things I really love about it:

  • Once I upload my photos there, they are safe forever.
  • I can reorder my projects at any time as well.
  • There are always sales going on, and I get a free photo book about every 6 months.
  • The products are high quality.
  • I can customize things to be exactly as I want while still using their templates to make things easier.

The biggest downside to Shutterfly is probably the price, so I always wait for sales. I don’t usually have to wait very long.

digital scrapbooks
my family in 2000 at Pensacola Beach

Making a Digital Scrapbook

There’s no way to make a scrapbook in an hour if you can’t find the pictures you’re looking for. I look at my last scrapbook to see when it left off, then upload the photos I want 1 month’s worth at a time. (They are saved by month on my computer, so this is a very easy process.) Since I stick with free photo books, I get 20 pages for about 6 months of photos, and I always use one of Shutterfly’s basic 8 x 8 book templates. I really have to pick the best of the best photos, but that’s not a bad thing.

Once I’ve uploaded 1 month of photos, I place them on the pages, usually with a minimal amount of text. (A picture is worth 1,000 words, right?) I like that there are many page layouts to choose from, depending on how many pictures I want on that particular page. I save my project after each month of pictures (about every 3 pages) just to be safe. My internet service has definitely let me down in the past.

Once I’ve filled the book, I double-check it for picture placement, text spelling, and overall aesthetic appeal. Then, I order it! I still have to pay for shipping, but I think $8 for a hardcover photo book is well worth it.


I love digital scrapbooks. 2 hours and $16 a year are a small price to pay to keep my family’s best moments preserved in hardcover. I love seeing my children’s faces as they look through our old pictures. If you prefer the old-fashioned way with paper and stickers, go for it. If you’re a minimalist who wants to scrapbook without much time, effort, or money, this is the way!

Find more posts about making and keeping memories here.

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